Perfectly timed to coincide with Art Basel Miami Beach, D. T. Max has profiled the indefatigable curator Hans Ulrich Obrist, the co-director of London’s Serpentine Galleries, for this week’s issue of The New Yorker. Lots of good anecdotes here, ranging from the various sleep techniques he’s tried (Balzac’s copious-coffee method and Leonardo’s nap regime) to the the time that Louise Bourgeois called Obrist’s mother to tell her she needed to take care of the young man. We also get some numbers on just how frequently he travels: 50 out of the past 52 weekends leading up to the story.
Lots of great guest appearances by artists and curators around the world. Here’s a scene from one of Obrist’s rougher studio visits, with Ed Ruscha:
Obrist’s next visit was to Ruscha, whose studio is a low unmarked building in Culver City, five miles away. Baldessari and Obrist have a rapport: they are both impersonally personable. Ruscha has a cooler nature, and though he recognizes Obrist’s centrality in the art world—“I see his name pretty much constantly”—he is also skeptical of him. “His telephone is continually tinging and leaving twicks and tweets and all that,” he told me, adding, “I’m like one little fragment of his interest.”